‘Cinema District’, the classic space of La 1, is looking for new audiences

Alaska and Rafael stand during a recording of a program. / RC

The container of Spanish cinema contains more recent comedies, such as “Mujeres al borde…”, which alternate with their more famous films

In the collective imagination, “Cine de barrio” is a Saturday afternoon classic. The brand now goes beyond TVE itself and its viewers have transformed this format, which was born in the summer of 1995 on La 2 to release a package of Spanish films that the public entity at that time had ‘in stock’, into one of the most watched programs of Channel One . Almost three decades have passed since the premiere of Jose Manuel Parada, but the years have not passed for “Cine de barrio”. The format is alive, evolving and reinventing itself to attract a new audience that is increasingly distracted by other types of consumption.

“We think ‘Cine de Barrio’ is a program for the elderly that evokes the nostalgia of certain years. It is a program of Spanish cinema that can cover other times. We all feel the time is passing by. And it’s time for “neighborhood cinema” for all of us, “explains the director of coordination since January, journalist Machus Osinaga. The space surprised the audience with the “premiere” of the eighties film “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” directed by Pedro Almodóvar from La Mancha. This rendition, Who previously received one of the heroines, Maria Barranco, on the set, delighted the audience of La 1 with a good audience: 1,093,000 followers and a share of 10.1% of the screen.

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The program took a risk, but it succeeded “because there are viewers who are interested in this kind of cinema,” says the director. “We want to modernize and rejuvenate it. We started in 1995 by showing films from the fifties, sixties and seventies, and according to this general rule, now that we are in 2022, it is time to broadcast feature films from the eighties, nineties and 2000s. That is what I intend and hope to do »Osinaga reveals.

However, the “cinema district” did not want to lose the hallmark that made it a standard. Those films by Alfredo Landa, Marisol, Giuseletto or Manolo Escobar, which, despite the years since many of them have already been broadcast on other networks or available on platforms, still attract the attention of the La 1 audience. He admits how much she wears “Don erre que erre” or “Come Germany, Pepe” are still very successful.”

Specifically, the most-watched movie was “The City Is Not Mine” by Aragonese actor Paco Martinez Soria, a fire-resistant film on the programme. On January 8, 2000, it was watched by over five million viewers and saw 44.6% of “engagement”. “I don’t know if it’s the same person who watches them over and over again, or if there is a new audience that is interested or interesting or just curious about these kinds of movies. It’s amazing.”

The program’s director sees the program’s closest future as offering those classic films that alternate with the “other comedy of the century” directed by other filmmakers, such as Fernando Colomo or Emilio Martinez Lazaro, among others. “This is the new, ‘neighborhood cinema’ for a wider audience,” the journalist says.

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Prior to the film’s broadcast, the Cinema District presented its own, about thirty-minute screening, led by Alaska, in which actors or characters associated with the context in which the film was developed are greeted. Ongoing documentation work led by Machus and developed by the team searches the RTVE archives for images showing the artist’s “professional and even vital journey.” Guests, he says, are amazed at his past on TV. “This dig into the past is the most satisfying thing for me. RTVE archives are milled gold. Guests see the pieces, appreciate them, and get excited. Each one, without exception, asks for a copy,” he confirms.

Myrtle Frost

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